According to a new research it was seen that Autistic people may suffer more due to loneliness than the people in general. This research is also breaking the popular myth that autistic people do not like to create social bonds with others.
Loneliness can deeply affect both the physical and mental health of a neurotypical and neurodivergent people and the autistic people’s sufferings due to loneliness are much higher than their peers. They are more prone to get affected by the negative physical and psychological impacts of loneliness.
Social surroundings, on the other hand, play a negative role in the overall mental and physical development of an autistic child or those who suffer from certain abnormalities. A new study has been published in the journal Autism in Adulthood which showcases autistic people’s experiences and how they deal with loneliness and the impact of it on their physical and mental health.
Dr Gemma Williams, a public health research officer in the School of Health and Social Care, is one of the authors of the journal. She said, “In the study, they have found that sensory differences are related with higher loneliness and poor mental mental in both autistic and non-autistic people. However, this affects the autistic people more due to the higher presence of sensory processing differences”.
Autistic people are more vulnerable to loneliness and other difficulties as they frequently experience financial inequalities mainly lack of employment opportunities and support but also access to benefits. Therefore, the researchers have found that loneliness in some way to the other is the main reason behind the poor mental health in autistic people which ultimately causes distress, depression and stress.
Moreover, people who experience sensory differences find it difficult to accommodate themselves in the society and with their peer groups because of which they become increasingly isolated thereby, inclining more to loneliness and distress.
Autistic people and their experiences
People who suffer from loneliness are seen to be more prone to low mental health and physical abnormalities. One of the people suffering from autism says, “Sometimes I face trouble having conversations with others because I don’t have the same thought process and due to which people ask me What did you say? I can’t understand what do you mean?”
Another person said, “I’m trying to reach out, I’m trying to find my people, but it all still feels a bit hopeless.” As we can see that sensory differences are more prevalent in the autistic community which may be related to other social and affective factors thus, giving rise to acute loneliness and distress which sometimes becomes difficult to be cured.
Dr Williams, another author of the journal Autism in Adulthood added by concluding, “Autistic people suffer more painfully due to loneliness just because of their negative surroundings they are living in. So, in order to bring some changes a real societal effort is needed to help autistic people to get cured.”